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The daring damsel taking a plunge deeper than the neck line of her dress is the beloved Amelie. Not only is she on the hunt for vampires but also for a spot in our esteemed art gallery.


The above portrait was made possible by Amelie's generous and extremely meticulous husband Edwin who placed an order with the Toil Corporation (ie: me) for the art as a wedding present for her. Hands down this is THEE most personalized portrait I've done to date. Edwin and I butted heads throughout the entire creation of Amelie's art. Let me ammend that. I was doing the head butting while Edwin was maintaining a calm, cool, composed cranium. The specifications of his needs were so numerous and, to some extent, odd, I just wasn't sure I had it in me to see the art to completion. But optimistic and persistent Edwin was confident I could deliver the goods and pushed for perfection.


All of you Joss Whedon fans will recognize references to his most popular creation Buffy The Vampire Slayer, including our tag line which was originally "Fire Bad...Tree Good". Unfortunately these references flew high above my head (especially the reference to a pink pig which I was too stubborn to include in her portrait) but Edwin was extremely quick and sure-footed with the photo and art images he googled from dusk till dawn so I wouldn't have to stumble in the dark in search of. Not only is this the most personalized portrait in the Toil Girl gallery, but it required the most photo/art reference of any portrait. In Amelie's folder the stack of digital images I collected included Captain America, Bruce Lee, The Green Lantern, Serenity (another Joss Whedon creation), zoot suits, Gambit of The X-Men, Van Helsing and Giorgio Armani. It was actually loads of fun receiving these images from my conscientious art director Edwin throughout the creation process. 


In all truth, the main ingredient to a successful illustration is an abundance of reference material and, because of Edwin's steadfast dedication to making this a cherished and endearing piece of art for Amelie, he completely removed the opportunity for me to make a mistake. His aesthetic commitment and participation to this project is a true testament of his feelings for his beloved Amelie.


Thanks goes to Amelie for being such an attractive and vibrant addition to my gallery and may you and Edwin share lives that are forever charmed.




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